South Carolina Elects First Black Woman to Lead the State’s Democratic Party

by Xara Aziz
Courtesy: Christale Spain for SCDP Chair

South Carolina’s Democratic Party has just elected its first Black woman to lead the organization Saturday, a monumental victory to offset the Democrats’ leadoff voting state in the 2024 presidential elections.

Christale Spain was elected during the party’s convention in the state’s capital. The longtime party operative’s election to the seat now shifts the gradual fluctuations across state Democratic parties in 2024. Spain’s appointment now means four of the five states in which Democrats will vote first next year (Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina) will have Black women chairing their state parties, according to NBC News.

President Joe Biden vowed to incorporate diversity among states when he first ran for the nation’s chief executive in 2020. The former Delaware senator recently pushed his reelection bid to put South Carolina at the top of the nominating calendar, where he won in a landslide during the general elections.

Now that Spain takes the helm of the organization, she said she will work to implement “year-round voter engagement,” hoping to garner increased statewide wins for the party. She has called her win “a historic moment for our party [and] for women.”

“I now know from all the experience, all of the volunteering, all of the jobs that I’ve held, the importance of this role, who is setting the stage, who is implementing the strategy, so that we can win,” she told the press after her win.

Spain, 46, will secede Trav Robertson, who led the party since 2017. He announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking another term. Since her announcement to run, she received backing from several key members of the party, including Rep. Jim Clyburn and Jaime Harrison, who preceded Robertson as state chair. Harrison currently leads the Democratic National Committee.

Spain “has the experience, judgment, and strategic vision to get South Carolina Democrats back on the winning track, and I know she will be an excellent chair,” Harrison said in a statement.

Spain has worked in the political sphere for years with experience as Sen. Bernie Sanders’ political director during his 2016 White House bid and as Sen. Cory Booker’s state director during his 2020 presidential run. She then worked for Rep. Clyburn’s district office, as a constituent service and outreach expert.

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